The New Name: The Allergic Pagan

Originally posted on August 2, 2011 by John Halstead

I’ve decided to rename my blog.  For one thing, the name Temple of the Earth Mother is a bit pretentious.  I’ll be keeping the same URL though.  And I’ll post another day about the reason why originally I chose to name the blog that.

I’ve decided to rename the blog The Allergic Pagan first of all because that’s what I am.  I am a Pagan, a nature worshiper if you will, and I have seasonal allergies.  I get it all year round actually, but especially in spring and fall, my preferred seasons.  What this means is that the times of the year I most want to be outside, I find it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to do so.  This irony captures an essential conflict in the core of me which will come out in this blog.  It also reveals something about one of the practical difficulties of being a Pagan, which I hope will be a theme for this blog.

I was also inspired to change the name because of an experience at a recent ADF ritual I attended on the beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago.  One of the participants was struggling with allergies (I was blissfully free of them that day), and also the biting flies seemed particularly attracted to his legs.  I was particularly enjoying being outside on this particular day.  The sun was shining bright, but there was a cool breeze blowing in the shade under the trees where we were.  The ocean was beautiful, and the cicadas helped drown out the city sounds.  My co-ritualist’s struggles with pollen and flies contrasted with my enjoyment of the natural surroundings.  I felt for him because I have been there.

Finally, I decided to change the name of the blog after reflecting on the reason why I started it in the first place.  I started to write this blog after reading Joseph Wilson’s autobiography “Warts and All”, which was a very candid history of one of the fathers of modern Paganism.  Like Joe, I hoped to expose here the “warts and all” of my own Pagan practice, including but not limited to how my allergies interfere with my communion with nature.  I feel that The Allergic Pagan is a better title for a blog intended to be about self-disclosure.

The next time, I will write more about the ADF ritual I attended.

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